Tag: Media Archaeology

From Goombas to Gluskabe: Coding Culture into Super Mario Bros.

By Ashlee Bird Gitelman’s concept of the frivolity of dissecting the content of a medium without first examining the abilities and limitations of the medium itself has been present in almost every aspect of this week for me. However, as I began to think more about this ideology, I’ve realized that NAS actually tends to be skewed more towards the cultural/content end of the spectrum, probably to a fault. We discuss changes in education systems, but often ignore the fact that a large majority of Native students go to public high schools not on the reservation, and some of the changes that are seen as necessary are simply not achievable within that structure. So, the general suggestion is complete separation...

Documenting my (Nearly Successful) Attempt to Location Spoof in Ingress

by Kaitlin O’Brien This past week, I have tried to extend beyond my academic comfort zone to explore new concepts and I feel like nothing showcases this as much as my final blog post. I decided that after my exploration of hacking concepts, exploitation in Ingress and location spoofing, I would try my hand at following a few threads and testing out their instructions to ascertain overall feasibility and to learn the degree of accessibility these location spoofing instructions have. After all, I don’t claim to be overtly tech-savvy but I am open to putting my best foot forward to have my avatar in Ingress show up geographically half a world away. Going into this venture, I wanted to establish...

The Atari 2600 and the Search for Removable Memory

by Kyle Bickoff Hi all, let me apologize for my late posting on Day 3—I felt quite poorly after class so am putting this up a day late. Here it is: Today I’m thinking about what exactly the vintage computers I’m using are helping me to reveal, particularly in regards to my topics of interest: memory, infrastructure, and the blackbox. I worked today with the Atari 2600, specifically, connected to the Spectravision Compumate. Rather than simply inserting a traditional cartridge and connecting a controller via serial port—this cartridge first inserts, and then has three different cables connecting—two of which insert into the controller ports and the third of which leads to the Spectravision keyboard. I’ve never used such a system...

Gaming the Ingress System

by Kaitlin O’Brien While I have not used any type of spoofing software to disrupt or confuse my locational data, I can understand users spoofing their locations not to have an advantage in the game, but to falsify the data records Google is collecting on behalf of Niantic Labs. Giving a corporation like Google open access to the location data being collected on one’s phone is a scary concept because by doing so, one is disclosing areas that are frequented by that person. To make a mockery of the fact that Ingress is in fact a “form of digital economic exchange—one that requires the ‘datafication’ of one’s mobility and communicative action in exchange for the gift of play” (Hulsey &...

Fidelity and Glitches

by Becky Anderson During today’s discussion, Darren asked if a customized, changed or altered NES is still an NES subsequent to the completion of various modifications and, importantly, what do these modifications do to gameplay or how do they then effect player experience? Indeed, these questions are at the crux of what I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of days relative to Turbine’s MMORPG computer game adaptation LOTRO; that is, what does transmedial adaptation do to the parent narrative, storyline or world (I’m deliberately refraining from using “original” here) from which it is derived or on which it is based? Making decisions in the adaption process based on fidelity to the source text is, in my opinion, a...

“Hacking” as a Multipurpose Term in Ingress

by Kaitlin O’Brien Based on yesterday’s lecture on platform histories that had students code bend Super Mario Bros. on the original console, I have been thinking about how similar strategies could be applied to the augmented reality game Ingress. Through my experience with code bending, I began to think about what I am more familiar with and what I view as similar to code bending and that is hacking. In many ways, Ingress is a display of “urban hacking, and the reappropriation of public space away from an indexical, purely informational, and cognitivist use of mobile computing, and toward the affective and often normatively disruptive acts of distributed storytelling” (Coleman 283). Before I can even begin to explore hacking in Ingress,...

Rom Hacking and Experiential Spatiality

By Becky Anderson Through the duration of today’s rom-hacking Super Mario Bros. workshop I kept asking myself, would this investigation into and inevitable alterations of the binary source code happen to a Tolkien-based game adaptation? I’m assuming that at some point somebody has tried. I think you could certainly modify an early heroic adventure game to reflect the epic quest line of Frodo and friends. Or, while it would take some…or perhaps a lot of work, I imagine you could even code-bend or apply a series of transformations to the Super Mario Bros. source code to reflect a Middle-earth inspired backdrop with the Super Mario Bros. game characters modified to fit those within Tolkien’s Secondary World. Perhaps I’ll consider that...

BLACKBOX / WHITEBOX

by Kyle Bickoff Over the course of Day 2 we took a close look at game cartridges—rather, we dissected cartridges. After opening up the NES cartridge we then removed the chips on the card that store the contents of the game. We then extracted the contents off the chips, transferred them via a universal controller device via USB to a laptop, merged the files, edited them, rewrote them to writeable chips and then ran our modified game on an NES. I summarize our work today because it describes a methodology that very much resists a term I’ve written on previously—that term is the black box. The black box typically refers to a system in which the data is input into...

Invisible Material: How Material Media Archaeology Illustrates Missing Voices

by Jaime Kirtz * This post is in response to Hertz and Parikka’s essay, “Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method” as well as a day spent desoldering, modding and working with vintage video game cartridges and chips.    In their paper, “Zombie Media: Circuit Bending Media Archaeology into an Art Method,” scholars Garnet Hertz and Jussi Parikka designate the term ‘zombie media’ to obsolete or ‘dead’ media that is “revitalized, brought back to use, reworked” (2012, p.425). Precedents for zombie media, such as projects like “The Edison Effect” by Paul DeMarinis, exemplify the intersections between engineering and art that remix, reuse and reappropriate purpose, context and use of various technologies/media (Hertz and Parikka, 2012, p.249). Hertz...

Storyworld Spatiality

by Becky Anderson Recently I read Colin B. Harvey’s Fantastic Transmedia: Narrative, Play, and Memory Across Science Fiction and Fantasy Storyworlds and I was immediately enamored. It examines the manner in which several storyworld franchises engage with and extend across various media platforms to attract and heighten the interest of their respective audiences and fan bases. It contains a chapter that addresses the recent Jackson film adaptations of Tolkien’s universe. Since my initial encounter with the text, I’ve been working through some questions about how spatiality and place-making factor into the adaptation of a Secondary World with a specific focus on game-based adaptations of Middle-earth. As such, this week I’d like to consider and begin to dig into the tropes of medievalism that...